Australia

'Fit' NSW koalas could save species

Genetically 'fit' koalas in NSW could play a vital role in saving the species from extinction.

Queensland researchers have found pockets of genetically-diverse koalas that could prove to be the saviours of the species.

Koala populations across Australia are in decline largely due to human interference and disease, but a James Cook University study has discovered genetic diversity in some regions, particularly near the Blue Mountains in NSW.

"To effectively manage koalas across Australia and in captivity we must understand how genetically diverse these populations are, how 'fit' they are," JCU Professor Professor Kyall Zenger said.

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